The State of Biodynamics in New York Wine
May 31st, 2022 – Silver Thread is featured in an article for the New York Wine & Grape Foundation
New York is home to a lengthening list of open-minded growers who may not be prepared to embrace biodynamics fully, but draw on selective practices and ideas for solutions…
The Brocks are among the most environmentally thoughtful growers in the state. Paul Brock leads a “biointensive” farming group that now involves growers from across the state learning about and sharing biological and holistic farming practices. (Verschuuren, Cavallo, and Biltonen are also participants.)
The Silver Thread vineyards were already organically farmed when the Brocks purchased them in 2011. “It was important to me that organics and sustainability remained the heart of Silver Thread and what we were all about,” Shannon Brock says. The estate’s previous owner based his farming heavily on copper applications and was willing to accept high crop losses as the cost of working organically, she notes.
…Two potentially devastating diseases for which Shannon Brock says there is no “good organic control” are downy mildew and another fungal disease called pestalotiopsis. The Brocks counter this threat with carefully researched, targeted synthetics. “It’s not as simple as saying, ‘Is this an organic or a synthetic material? You could argue that material that is highly targeted and synthetic is less damaging to the environment than copper,” she says.